Emirates announces a new tier for the Skywards program. Photo taken at Dubai Airport yesterday by AirlineReporter.com.

Emirates Airline announces a new tier for the Skywards program. Photo taken at Dubai Airport yesterday by AirlineReporter.com.

Today, Emirates Airlines will announce a new elite tier in their Skywards program: Platinum. Just before the announcement, I was able to sit down with Brian LaBelle, Senior Vice President of Emirates Rewards in Dubai to ask some questions and learn more about the airline’s program.

Previously, Emirates had three rewards tiers: Blue: just register, Silver: earned at 25,000 miles and Gold: earned at 50,000 miles. Starting April 1st, 2013, passengers will be able to attain Platinum status flying over 150,000 miles. That is quite the upgrade from 50,000 miles of Gold status, so what will the premium get you? Here are the main benefits:

  • Access for the cardholder and one guest to the Emirates First Class lounge in Dubai and Emirates Lounges across the network
  • Complimentary Emirates Skywards Gold card for each member’s partner, giving them the benefits of Gold status, even when flying on their own.
  • ’˜Last Seat’ Flex reward, enabling Skywards Miles to be utilised on any flight, as long as there is an open seat.
  • Additional 20kg luggage allowance.
  • ‘Guaranteed Business Class‘ revenue seat, meaning you will not be bumped if you use cash or rewards for a business class seat.
  • 75% bonus Skywards Miles

LaBelle explained to AirlineReporter.com that Emirates wants to reward their top fliers and make sure they keep flying on Emirates. He wasn’t able to confirm how many current Gold level members will automatically earn Platinum status on April 1st, but he was able to say that out of the 8.6 million who have signed up for Skywards, about 110,000 are currently Gold members.

Although status will not transfer between most other airlines that Emirates has partnerships with (Alaska Airlines, jetBlue and easyJet), the new status will be shared with Qantas Airlines Frequent Flyer Program. This makes sense since both airlines will be entering a larger alliance starting also on April 1st.

This story written by…David Parker Brown, Editor & Founder.

David started AirlineReporter.com in the summer of 2008, but has had a passion for aviation since he was a kid. Born and raised in the Seattle area (where he is currently based) has surely had an influence and he couldn’t imagine living anywhere else in the world.

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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me: david@airlinereporter.com

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